Badgers take third at state AAU tournament

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  • Courtesy photo Bonners Ferry AAU team members, from left: Brody Rice, Thomas Bateman, Eli Blackmore, Jackson Ansley, Asher Williams, Malachi Hubbard, Sulay Abubakari, Ivaan Cartwright and Peyton Hinthorn.

  • 1

    (Courtesy Photo) Despite a height disadvantage, the Badgers played their hearts out.

  • 2

    (Courtesy Photo) Preparing for the game.

  • 3

    (Courtesy Photo) The happy team celebrates!

  • Courtesy photo Bonners Ferry AAU team members, from left: Brody Rice, Thomas Bateman, Eli Blackmore, Jackson Ansley, Asher Williams, Malachi Hubbard, Sulay Abubakari, Ivaan Cartwright and Peyton Hinthorn.

  • 1

    (Courtesy Photo) Despite a height disadvantage, the Badgers played their hearts out.

  • 2

    (Courtesy Photo) Preparing for the game.

  • 3

    (Courtesy Photo) The happy team celebrates!

The Bonners Ferry 4th-6th grade AAU boys’ basketball team competed in an AAU qualifying tournament on March 2 in Lewiston, Idaho, and made it to the championship game of the tournament. This qualified them for their first-ever Washington State Championship on March 15-17 in Spokane, Wash.

The AAU organization allows teams that are located near the border of Washington to play in tournaments, and if they qualify to compete at state level.

There were more than 4,000 players competing in the tournament with some very exciting basketball and great athletes. In the 4th-6th grade Badgers’ division there was 18 total teams from the Washington/Idaho border area competing in this invite-only tournament.

Coach Nathan Williams stated, “It was a great experience for our team to see this amount of quality teams and to be challenged at a high level.”

On the first day the Badgers won their first three games and joined three other undefeated teams to enter the semifinal round. The second day they faced a very tall and athletic group of players and lost to a good team. The final game was for third place in state for the 6th grade AAU Boys Division.

The game was tied at halftime and the Badgers picked up the pressure defense the second half and won the contest 58-38.

“We were the shortest team in our division, but the kids’ full-court pressure caused a lot of turnovers. It was a joy to watch them excel at this level and take third place at state. In addition, it was awesome for them to receive so many compliments from other teams and referees on their hustle and heart,” stated Coach Williams.

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